The vibes were bad surrounding the Chicago White Sox all day on Friday. Despite knowing that it was Michael Kopech day, everyone was angry about something. It mostly had to do with the bad lineup decisions made by Tony La Russa during the day.
AJ pollock returned from injury but he was batting low in the lineup. Leury Garcia, after two straight games hitting in the three spot, moved up to the two spot. They also had Jake Burger batting ninth with defensive-minded catcher Reese McGuire in the eight-hole.
The bad vibes started to change, however, as the game went along. Michael Kopech was dealing and Andrew Vaughn hit a solo shot to give the White Sox a 1-0 lead. It was blown in the end, however, thanks to Tony La Russa sleeping at the wheel combined with some really bad defense.
First off, we have to acknowledge that Michael Kopech did not deserve the fate that was given. He was handed the no-decision despite his team having the lead when he left. He had 5.0 shutout innings with only three hits, one walk, and seven strikeouts on the day.
Michael Kopech has been everything the Chicago White Sox needed and more.
His ERA is down to a minuscule 0.64 in three starts to begin the season. He is looking like the ace that we all knew he’d become. The problem for the rest of the American League is that he hasn’t even touched his ceiling yet so the best is still to come.
Kopech deserved to add another win to his stat sheet but he would not get it. Jose Ruiz, Aaron Bummer, and Kendall Graveman were the relievers that followed him. They were all good until Graveman was down to his final strike and that is where everything became a mess.
In the bottom of the 8th inning, the White Sox defense decided to throw the ball around the infield. That allowed the Minnesota Twins to take a 2-1 lead. It was as bad as you could expect from this group. If they don’t fix their defense soon, they can kiss winning the AL Central goodbye.
It got even worse in the top of the ninth inning. Eloy Jimenez had a leadoff double. Instead of getting him to come around and score, they blew it. Adam Engel hit him to third in a fielder’s choice so there was the first out.
Reese McGuire popped out after the Twins loaded the bases from there on two walks. Then, with a chance to be the hero, Jake Burger watched strike three go by and the White Sox lost 2-1. It was a disaster of an ending, to say the least.
Tony La Russa has had a terrible week but one of his biggest blenders came in the 9th. One of the best offensive catchers in the world for the last decade was sitting in his dugout and he decided not to use him in favor of the catcher that can’t hit well consistently at all.
The fact that this team got nothing out of bases loaded with two outs is atrocious. They deserved to lose as a team but Michael Kopech did not. Hopefully, this little slump that they are in stops soon because they don’t want to dig too much of a hole.